Spirits are high at the Cuyahoga County Republican watch party in Cleveland City. The House of Representatives is set to remain in control of the GOP and Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman has seen off a challenge from former Democratic governor Ted Strickland, meaning the Democratic party is going to have to look elsewhere for the net four seat gain it needs to gain control of the Senate.
And while it is too early in the night to determine how the presidential vote will play out in Ohio, that very uncertainty is great news for Republicans who hope to take the state that voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Everyone here knows no Republican has ever taken the White House without taking Ohio.
The State’s Lieutenant Governor, Mary Taylor, was bullish when she addressed the crowd a few minutes ago. ‘Donald Trump will win Ohio. We need leaders who will help restore hope and prosperity. That’s what Trump understands and Rob Portman understands.’
It has been an awkward race for Republicans in this state, with Governor John Kasich consistently refusing to endorse Donald Trump after competing in a bitter primary race for the party’s presidential nomination. Earlier this month Governor Kasich made good on his pledge not to vote for Trump. His lieutenant didn’t appear to share his misgivings.
The members of a Canadian delegation in town were glued to the results running across the television screen. Both sides could find encouragement from early results but key states such as North Carolina, Florida and Ohio are still too close to call. Nathan Cullen, an MP from British Columbia, said he was watching with a mix of fascination and horror.
‘Certainly America is making history tonight one way or the other. The country will elect either its first female president or the first television star president.
He said the major areas of interest for Canada in the election result are trade and foreign relations.
‘Hillary would certainly be a much more predictable president. I can’t separate Mr Trump’s thinking from his rhetoric.
‘As far as trade goes … well I’m a progressive politician and I have concerns with some of the trade deals we have signed yet I believe in trade. Trump’s approach is rhetorical but it also exists in a world that no-one else occupies. You simply can’t dictate the terms of every deal you sign.’
‘So obviously that approach wouldn’t sustain America in any kind of trade relation with Canada or the rest of the world.’
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